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Pixar’s Cars 3 Is Fast, Furious, And Mega Muddy

In the new Cars movie, the third in Pixar’s anthropomorphized auto racing franchise, universally loved hero car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is bumped from his top spot on the track by a new generation of teched-out competitors looking to revolutionize racing with their next gen advancements—and attitudes.

Gone are the old days of trolling your fellow racers with pranks like over-inflating a pal’s tires or telling them their blinker is on. This new breed of racer is less into good-natured ribbing and more about psychological warfare. Ringleader Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer) arrives on the speedway equipped with all the latest in precision training technology, including virtual reality (though no one’s figured out what to do with that just yet).

In his first race against Lightning McQueen, he throws the reigning champ off his game by making cracks about McQueen’s elder statesman status, his farewell tour, and his looming retirement. Only McQueen hasn’t even considered retiring—at least not until now. Awkward.

Storm handily beats him and Lightning goes down in what looks like a career-ender fender bender (sorry), his future in racing suddenly looking a lot darker. Will he be put out to pasture like his old mentor or can he find a way to compete with the crop of next generation cars? To find out, he puts himself through a very unconventional training regimen with Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), a would-be racer who’s been told she’ll never compete.

The movie, directed by Pixar veteran Brian Fee, will appeal to the kind of kid who likes to see things go fast, get dirty, and smash up in slow motion. So… all kids. Cars 3 features a muddy, last car standing type competition where McQueen is almost bested by an out-of-commission ambulance and a beat up old school bus (with some unresolved anger issues), and a final race scene with an anti-bullying message that hits home. In the movies, mean guys still come in last.

For the parents, there’s a pretty sweet Tom Petty cover.

Cars 3—which also features the voices of Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington, Bonnie Hunt, and Tony Shalhoub—brings the animated demolition derby into theatres June 16. Check out the high-speed trailer below:

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